Brooke Ciardelli will direct a reading at The Public Theater, NY of a modernized, Arabic-American-Muslim- production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, almost fifty years after the first production premiered on Broadway.
By refocusing Miller's lens on the Muslim-American community, we can better understand how the ongoing struggle of immigrants doesn't change; only the faces and nationalities are different. This is truly a "moment when great events both at home and abroad [cry] out for recognition and analytic inspection." (Arthur Miller's Introduction to A View From the Bridge.)
"The Trust gave unprecedented permission to Ms. Ciardelli to produce and direct a newly conceived production of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. We strongly support the project" said Patrick Herold, Sr. Vice-President, International Creative Management. Julia Bolous of The Arthur Miller Trust echoed "We have encouraged Brooke's vision and look forward to the future possibilities of this production."
Written in 1955, the play is a gripping family drama set within a tightly knit Italian-Catholic immigrant community in Brooklyn, NY. In this new production, the central family will be updated to Muslim-Syrian- Americans. Ciardelli has translated character names, locations and specific lines of text into Arabic and comments, "Although the countries and cultures have changed, the issues surrounding immigration are still at the heart of American politics, and there is no greater play that confronts these issues than A View From The Bridge."
Stephen Marino, Editor of The Arthur Miller Journal, comments "This new version shows how these same emotions can infect an Arab-American family in contemporary Brooklyn." The struggle is universal, but particularly acute for an immigrant trying to assimilate into America while staying true to the cultures and customs of their home country. For a post-World War II Italian-Catholic, or a post-9/11 Arab-Muslim, these competing forces remain the same. Dawood Yasin, Muslim Life Advisor at the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College, comments "This project is of great importance given the national debate about the Muslim immigrant experience in the US, and more specifically the issues surrounding Arab-American Muslims. . . the arts, and more specifically the theater, represent an ideal forum for these ideas to be explored."
"Miller's political concerns are ever-present in his plays, which have won a Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Awards. His most celebrated works call into question the American dream by exploring our national conscience on a domestic level." said Ciardelli. Her creative partner on the project, Catherine Doherty, reflects, "this new Muslim interpretation will return Arthur Miller to the forefront of America's social conscience."
The workshop reading will take place at New York's Public Theater, founded by Joseph Papp, nearly 60 years ago and has served as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force in leading and framing dialogue on important issues of the day.
Cast includes: Laith Nakli, Lanna Joffrey, Dina Shihabi, Eyas Younis, Ramsey Farahallah, Sevan Greene, Babak Tafti, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Bob Turano and Patrick Woodall.
BIOGRAPHIES - cast
Laith Nakli - Ahmed (Eddie) Food and Fadwa, Aftermath. (New York Theater Workshop) Off Broadway: Lidless (Page 73), Inana (Denver Center), Cry of the Reed (Huntington), War (Rattlestick). Film and TV: A Allegiance, Song Still Inside, My Last Day Without You, Happythankyoumoreplease, The Visitor, Arranged, I Just Want My Pants Back, Traveler, The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Without a Trace, Law & Order: CSI, Third Watch. Grew up in Damascus, Syria before coming to New York in 1990.
Lanna Joffrey - Yaminah (Beatrice) Stage: NY: The Public, Urban Stages, Kitchen Theatre, Lark Theatre, HERE Arts Center, TerraNova Collective, The Flea. REGIONAL: Denver Center, Capitol Rep, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Northern Stage-VT, Lyric Stage. Born in Iran, grew up in London and Albuquerque, NM.